Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today?

This is the Coronavirus Briefing, an informed guide to the pandemic. Sign up here to receive this newsletter in your inbox . Oregon fa...


This is the Coronavirus Briefing, an informed guide to the pandemic. Sign up here to receive this newsletter in your inbox.


During most of the coronavirus pandemic, Oregon has been successful, ranking 46th in the country in per capita deaths, as it maintained some of the country’s tightest restrictions.

But the state is now register more cases every day that at any point in time the pandemic and hospitalizations reached a new peak, fueled by counties where only about a third of residents have been vaccinated.

To quell the tide, Gov. Kate Brown issued a warrant that goes into effect on Friday, requiring both vaccinated and unvaccinated people to wear masks, even when they gather outside. It goes way beyond what any other state has done to tackle this year’s summer surge.

She said in an interview that more restrictions may be needed over the next few days and that the state is trying to keep in-person schooling on track.

Brown told my colleagues Sergio Olmos and Mike Baker that in some states that largely contained the virus at the start of the pandemic, there was little natural immunity in the population. She said she did not consider the most drastic restrictions of the past year – such as closing restaurants and limiting gatherings – to be as effective when there are two simple and effective tools available: masks and vaccinations.

Ms Brown didn’t impose the kind of restrictions that were in place when the virus, arguably, was less dangerous than it is now: She hasn’t banned indoor dining or large gatherings. public and state schools resume face-to-face instruction in most public schools, unless they are facing serious epidemics.

This has largely left local leaders and businesses – and individuals themselves – to figure out how to navigate this dangerous new ground.

In the state’s largest city, Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland was among those who approved new face covering mandates.

A week after taking to Twitter to ask residents to follow guidelines by wearing masks at all times indoors, he gathered for a party in the eighth-floor living room of a downtown hotel. Photos obtained by the New York Times show him sitting with a dozen people – almost all unmasked – testing the limits of the tough new mask rules.

Lennox Wiseley, a spokesperson for Wheeler, said the mayor and his staff were following the rules because they “actively ate and / or drank” – the state standard for which people can remove their masks from. inside.


After weeks of stagnation, the US vaccination campaign has took steam. “The reason we’ve seen the surge in demand is fear, it’s the Delta variant,” said the leader of the Arkansas vaccination effort.

The increase in immunizations was particularly pronounced in states where immunization levels were below the national average of 61 percent. Many of these states have felt the effects of the fourth wave led by Delta most strongly.

Some state officials say they are adjusting their message to focus on the stories of people who have experienced Covid-19 illness or death directly.

North Dakota is developing a “Impact wall” a website with a collection of videos and photos of those who have been ill or lost a loved one.

And Arkansas produced a TV show Message of public interest featuring a pregnant woman who has had a near death experience with Covid. In the video, she and her husband encourage the Arkansans to get vaccinated.


Public health experts continue to believe that cases of Covid are relatively rare in people who have been vaccinated and rarely result in serious illness or hospitalizations.

In a recent analysis of state-level data, 90 percent of cases leading to hospitalization or death occurred in patients who were not fully immunized. But breakthroughs are definitely happening, and some people who have experienced it shared their stories with the Times:

  • Moira Smith, 46, and her 76-year-old mother visited unvaccinated family members. A few days later, Smith woke up feeling like she had been “hit by a Mack truck,” with body aches and a sore throat. Her mother, who was diagnosed with lung cancer, ended up in the emergency room.

  • Jimmy Yoder, 25, was infected over a weekend and initially thought he was having a hangover. A few days later, he “felt like he had a really bad flu,” with a high fever and congested sinuses. He slept for 18 hours and, after starting to recover, found that he had lost his sense of smell. But he was relieved to find that among the people he had exposed, only one tested positive. “Obviously this shows that vaccines still work great,” he said.

  • “We called it floating head syndrome,” said Molly O’Brien-Foelsch, 47, who tested positive for Covid after a vacation. “I felt like there was a huge marshmallow on my head.”


Find out how the vaccine rollout is going in your county and state.



I get depressed sometimes. It was bad enough when we were waiting for a vaccine that would end the crisis. But, I learned some things the first time around. I am 71 years old and I am attending two zoom classes. I’m not “stuck” on the phone looking for symptoms of COVID. Check my phone three times a day for welcome messages from friends. Try to do something each day to help me in four areas: Intellectually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Sometimes I draw a pie and illustrate what I’m going to do each day in each divided area. – Lizabeth L. Nackson, Louisville, Ky.

Let us know how you are dealing with the pandemic. Send us an answer here, and we could feature it in a future newsletter.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today?
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